Monday, September 13, 2010

Psalm 37

I just thought that I should share this with you, just in case anyone’s spirit needs some words of upliftment. Psalm 37 is one of the best-loved of David’s Psalms. I find myself reading it whenever I feel the need to re-discover the purpose in living a righteous life amid the wickedness that life unfortunately sometimes brings. 

This is a good verse to visit to remind us that when we trust in the Lord and continue to do good, He promises to give us the desires of our heart.

I have taken the liberty to give you excerpts of the verses which I find most meaningful, but should you want to read the whole chapter, you may do so here.

PSALM 37

1 Do not be provoked by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.
2 Like grass they wither quickly; like green plants they wilt away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good that you may dwell in the land and live secure.
4 Find your delight in the LORD who will give you your heart's desire.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust that God will act
6 And make your integrity shine like the dawn, your vindication like noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD; wait for God. Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers.
8 Give up your anger, abandon your wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
9 Those who do evil will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD will possess the land.

23 Those whose steps are guided by the LORD; whose way God approves,
24 May stumble, but they will never fall, for the LORD holds their hand.
25 Neither in my youth, nor now in old age have I ever seen the just abandoned or their children begging bread.
26 The just always lend generously, and their children become a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good, that you may inhabit the land forever.

34 Wait eagerly for the LORD, and keep to the way; God will raise you to possess the land; you will gloat when the wicked are cut off.
35 I have seen ruthless scoundrels, strong as flourishing cedars.
36 When I passed by again, they were gone; though I searched, they could not be found.
37 Observe the honest, mark the upright; those at peace with God have a future.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
39 The salvation of the just is from the LORD, their refuge in time of distress.
40 The LORD helps and rescues them, rescues and saves them from the wicked, because in God they take refuge.

The Psalm contains advice on how to achieve tranquility and peace of mind under difficult conditions.  Sharing the Bible Commentary below for a deeper understanding. 

1.  The first guidance begins in verses one and two:  Do not be provoked by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.  Like grass they wither quickly; like green plants they wilt away.

Because the wicked seem to prosper in this world, the natural reaction from the righteous is to become incensed, or to become envious of their success. But the righteous are reminded that success by the wicked is short-lived, and they will come to a distressful end.

2.  The second counsel is found in verse three: Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.

This means the righteous are assured security and sustenance. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name . . . ” (Hebrew 6:10).

3.  We find the third counsel in verse five: Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.

God should be relied upon for whatever one undertakes in life. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. (Ps. 37:6).

4.  The fourth admonition is recorded in verse seven: Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

The admonition in this verse is to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  Patience is a godly virtue. Clearly, a manifestation of patience is the art of learning to keep silent even when provoked into an argument.

5.  The fifth admonition gives us: Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others-- it only leads to harm.

And indeed it does. How often do people react to situations emotionally and then later regret the damage that has been done? We need not take matters regarding evil into our own hands. God promises to provide justice for the iniquity that is done under the sun.

For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. (Ps. 37:9-11).
The wicked plot against the just and grind their teeth at them;   But the LORD laughs at them, knowing their day is coming.  The wicked draw their swords; they string their bows To fell the poor and oppressed, to slaughter those whose way is honestTheir swords will pierce their own hearts; their bows will be broken.   (Ps. 37:12-15).

The righteous should be patient and trust in the Lord.  Better the poverty of the just than the great wealth of the wicked.  (vv. 16-17).


Notice the contrast between the reward of the righteous and of the wicked.

The LORD watches over the days of the blameless; their heritage lasts forever.
They will not be disgraced when times are hard; in days of famine they will have plenty.
The wicked perish, the enemies of the LORD; Like the beauty of meadows they vanish; like smoke they disappear.
The wicked borrow but do not repay; the just are generous in giving.
For those blessed by the Lord will possess the land, but those accursed will be cut off.  (Ps. 37:18-22)

God promises over and over to help the righteous. Those whose steps are guided by the LORD; whose way God approves, may stumble, but they will never fall, for the LORD holds their hand.
Neither in my youth, nor now in old age have I ever seen the just abandoned or their children begging bread.  The just always lend generously, and their children become a blessing.   (Ps. 37:23-26).

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